Nearly 17,000 people have signed an online petition urging South Dakota governor Kristi Noem to issue shelter-in-place orders due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Change.org petition was started by Amy Taylor, who identifies herself as a registered nurse and says she’s married to a certified nurse practitioner.
Taylor writes in the petition that she is “frightened at the prospect of needless deaths because of a lack of leadership at the state level. While we may not be New York, the same theory applies. Less social distancing leads to health system overload which leads to more deaths. Governor Noem needs to understand that while people are indeed responsible for their own health we must also do our part to protect the medically complex, immunocompromised, and elderly.”
South Dakota is one of five remaining states who have not issued shelter-in-place orders, joining North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Arkansas.
While Noem announced Friday that up to 600,000 of the nearly 900,000 people in South Dakota could end up infected by COVID-19, the governor has continued to insist the state can get through the pandemic without taking the same severe actions most other states have.
“South Dakota is not New York City,” Noem said. “The calls to apply for a one-size-fits-all approach to this problem is herd mentality. It’s not leadership.”
South Dakota added 25 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the statewide total to 212.
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